China’s services activity expanded at the fastest pace in three months in September with a sustained increase in total new business, a Caixin-sponsored survey showed Friday, adding to signs that the sector’s post-epidemic recovery is gathering speed.
The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in the services sector, rose to 54.8 last month from 54 in August. A number above 50 indicates an expansion in activity, while a figure below that points to a contraction. The index has now been in expansionary territory for five months in a row.
The reading follows a slight decline in manufacturing activity seen in the Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for September, released on Sept. 30, which edged down to 53 from an over nine-year high of 53.1 in August. The Caixin China Composite PMI, which covers both manufacturing and service companies, came in at 54.5 last month, down from 55.1 in August, the Friday survey showed. The Caixin PMI is one of the earliest available monthly indicators of economic conditions in China.
“Overall, the economy remained in a post-epidemic recovery phase and improved at a faster pace. Supply and demand both expanded in the manufacturing and services sectors,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.